Subject: News from Global Citizen Journey
From: Susan Partnow
Date: Wed, 20 Aug 2008 12:23:06 -0400 (EDT)

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Global Citizen Journey
Issue: 12
April, 2008
Dear Susan,

After careful consideration, we've decided to postpone our Burundi Journey to next summer. With growing excitement we can see that this decision will give us the time we need to "get it right," especially concerning the water project which needs much deeper study. By taking a step back from the pressure of deadlines and fundraising limitations, we'll have a chance to better understand what it is that the neighborhood of Carama needs from us, and we'll be more fully able to provide it.

We are exploring a pre-journey scouting trip with several delegates this summer, from the designated Water Team (see below) and a Town Hall Team, to investigate and lay the proper groundwork for an extraordinary journey in 2009.

This is good news for us, but do you know the best news? If you've been interested in going to Burundi but didn't feel as though you had enough time for fundraising and preparation, you have another chance to join the 2009 delegation!

To find out more, please don't hesitate to contact us via email or phone, and feel free to join us at the next orientation session on Monday, May 12th, from 5:15 to 7:00. We'd love to see you there!


Global Citizen Journey

Sweet Crude Team Returns to the U.S.

We are thankful to report that the four American Sweet Crude filmmakers have been safely returned to the U.S. after being detained by the Nigerian military while traveling in the Niger Delta.  Joel Bisina, founder of GCJ partner Niger Delta Professionals for Development, has returned to his home in Warri, and should be coming to the U.S. in early May.

Director Sandy Cioffi, producer Tammi Sims and photojournalists Sean Porter and Cliff Worsham were in Nigeria to finish the documentary Sweet Crude, about the effects of oil production on the people and environment of the Niger Delta.

Thank you to everyone who helped secure their release by spreading the word, and to the U.S. lawmakers who worked for mutual understanding with the Nigerian government.
Quick Hits:

GCJ in the News!  Word about Global Citizen Journey's work is spreading! Check out what the Bellingham Herald and the Ballard News-Tribune have to say.

AGRA Watch:  Global Citizen Journey is helping to gather a number of individuals and organizations around shared concerns regarding the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)-the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Rockefeller Foundation initiative now chaired by former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan.  Given our commitment to being fully engaged citizens and the presence of this major Foundation in our backyard, we feel called to pay close attention to what is happening from the perspective of what will serve our brothers and sisters in Africa and our planet. GCJ seeks to spur integration of the learning from the failures of the first so called Green Revolution - now reflected in the tragic suicides of farmers in India and the industrialization of food production in the US.  Our first objective is education of ourselves and the public around AGRA.  We will seek ways to engage in dialogue with the Gates Foundation to exchange visions and concerns as well as to call for them to be transparent and accountable to the public --including in Africa-- around their policies, alliances, and priorities.  We will seek direction from African small farmers regarding AGRA .  Also, we aim to utilize this issue as a opportunity to network with all Puget Sound area groups dealing with Africa and international concerns, especially around agriculture and food security. 

You are welcomed to join this group: sign up for the agraconcern list at https// and you will receive notification of meetings and additional resources to read.

We have posted a number of key resources and background reading around this issue on our website.

Update on Carama Water Project
Water Team reports their findings

In preparation for our Burundi journey, a dedicated Water Team has been created for the purpose of investigating great options for bringing water to Carama, and to gather, sort and process the huge amount of information on the subjecThe people of Caramat. Last week Brock, Wes, Deborah and Prosper consulted with Llyn, a hydrologist who works with Engineers Without Borders.  They determined that a complete water and sanitation plan is something that the village needs and GCJ would like to make that an explicit goal of our journey.  Prosper will work with the Carama village to establish a Water & Sanitation Team when gets back later month, and together we will identify a series of phases for this larger project and identify the first high priority components that we can focus on within the resources we can raise.  Several of our US Water Team members hope to go to Carama this summer to investigate and coordinate more fully so that we can be ready with a clear plan of action and wise priorities for summer '09.

With another full year to study the project, we are committed to doing our research.  We have learned that the water table in the area is very high, which has helped us focus on a few different solutions, such as digging a well (with the high water table, manual digging may be sufficient) or pulling and filtering water from a nearby river.  We are preparing a comparison of solar, diesel, manual and filtering approaches with a goal to include all start-up costs and maintenance costs, as well as making sure that the project is as green as possible.

If you have any interest or expertise in this area, please consider lending us a hand!  Contact Brock Blatter,, for more information.
Connecting Young People Across the Globe
Marysville 3rd graders connect with Oporoza students

An update from Ryan Hauck, a former GCJ delegate to the An Oporoza ClassroomNiger Delta in 2005 who has not only maintained the connection he made, but who has also paved the way for his students to connect.

Ryan's work has helped to establish a new connection between Quil Ceda (Marysville) elementary school and the primary school in Oporoza, Nigeria. A 3rd grade class at the elementary school wrote letters to 23 primary students in Oporoza after Ryan went into the class and showed slides, discussing life in Oporoza, and teaching the receptive students some Ijaw language and a popular Nigerian song.

Ryan then traveled for the fifth time back to Nigeria this past November, laden with the unbelievable amount of clothing, books, school supplies, toiletries, medical supplies, PE equipment, toys, etc., that were donated by the parents of the 3rd grade class. Once in Oporoza, he spent a great deal of time in the primary school, teaching a lesson and helping the students to respond individually to each of the letter written from the Quil Ceda 3rd graders. (The Quil Ceda 3rd graders have since responded, and their letters were taken back to Oporoza by Joel Bisina)

Meanwhile, thkidse high school students at Marysville-Pilchuck High School are continuing to establish their "sister-school" relationship with students in the Secondary School in Oporoza. Currently they are in the process of raising funds to support the purchase of novels, poetry, and non-fiction books that are part of the Nigerian curriculum, but are not available to the students there.

Now that there is a working internet system in Oporoza, students at MPHS are looking forward to more regular communication and building on the relationship they have been cultivating. There is a possibility of using a joint curriculum from the Giraffe Project, which is centered around service learning and empowers students to learn from authentic voices who have been a catalyst for change. This curriculum hopes to give students the background and skills to be actively engaged in the local and global communities to initiate positive change.

Ghana Update
Fourth return to Axim for GCJ Ghana Project Director
GCJ Ghana Project Director Maryanne and Rich Ward made their 4th return to Axim this Spring. This time, they were able to live and eat in the Western Heritage Home we partnered in building, now filled with 21 lively (pOur children standing in front of the Western Heritage Homearentless) children.  Maryanne & Rich brought 14 computers, 35 chess sets, and lots of books and puzzles in their luggage, which captivate the children thoroughly - perfect for this rainy season.  Western Heritage Home is flourishing and the computer center is taking shape.  Other spin-off projects such as the Veronica buckets and water sanitation plans are also making progress. Many of our Ghanaian GCJ delegates from 2006 are now very involved in the home, and spearheading work on other related projects in Axim.  There is a great sense of Ghanaians and North Americans trusting each other and working together, with a deep sense of empowerment and inspiration

From Maryanne's journal:  "Perhaps this is the time to describe the children.  What we see we consider no less than remarkable.  The staff have done an incredible job.  They work together on the daily basics - food, clothing, health, sleep, affection.  The children are generally calm, clean, and affectionate and considerate with each other."  
Western Heritage Home Plaque
home from school together. The children got quite excited when theyMaryanne's heart was filled with joy one day when they were walking could see the roof. "We're almost home," they shouted.  What a joyous manifestion of GCJ's mission and the hard work of all our GCJ community and delegates!  (Check out the GCJ Ghana blog for continued updates).

Top photo: The orphans pose in front of the newly completed Western Heritage Home building.

Bottom photo:  A plaque at the Western Heritage Home honoring the GCJ Ghana Journey delegates.
In This Issue
Sweet Crude team returns to the U.S.
GCJ Quick Hits
Update on Carama Water Project
Oporoza Sister Schools
Ghana Update
Get to Know GCJ
Quick Links

burundian flag
Join us in Burundi in Summer 2009.
Find out more.
Upcoming Events
Want to get to know GCJ?  Join us on Monday May 12th from 5:15-7 for an informal conversation and video presentation. (email for more directions).

Check out our website for
an updated list of events!

Picnic in the Park!

Join us this summer for a picnic in the park.  The date is still uncertain, but we're currently choosing between two Saturdays: July 12th or the 19th, GCJ delegates, volunteers, alumni and friends are all welcome to a day of food, fun, dancing, games and storytelling (location TBA).  Mark it on your calendar, and stay tuned for more details!

Do You Have A Story To Share?
We're in the process of collecting delegate stories to add to our website, and to use in order to help future delegates prepare for a Journey.  Are you a former delegate with a story to shore?  Let us know!
Photos from past and continuing journeys
A student band in Oporoza

A student band practices in Oporoza, Nigeria.

Our children standing in front of the Western Heritage Home

Students in front of the Western Heritage Home, Axim, Ghana.

ceremony wedge

A ceremonial feast for GCJ delegates in Oporoza.

A student studying in Oporoza

A student studies in Oporoza.

A man in Ghana

A man in Ghana poses for the camera.

A finished home in Burundi built by JRMD/YRWD.

oporoza women

Women in Oporoza.

A child in Ghana

A child in Ghana, wears a shirt made from cloth created in honor of GCJ (the white seal on his right arm is our logo!)
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